IDPs Return: It is not our duty to certify if communities are safe –DHQ

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By Joy Odor

The Defence Headquarters says it is not its responsibility to certify if communities recaptured from Boko Haram terrorists in Borno state are safe for the return of Internally Displaced Persons IDPs in the State or not.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche made this clarification while responding to questions from reporter during his weekly update on military operations across the federation in Abuja.

He said the DHQ would work with Borno state government to resettle IDPs back to their communities.

“The issue of resettlement is not purely a military affair, it is a collective affair.

“We are working together with Borno State Government to resettle IDPs, we are ready to support the civil authorities in line with section 217 of the Nigerian Constitution. We are ready to provide the enabling environment,” he further explained.

He added, “The Borno State Government has remained resolute in its efforts to resettle the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the State back to their home communities.

“In spite of the Boko Haram/ISWAP criminal elements’ attempts to thwart its efforts, the State Government is determined to resettle more of the IDPs to their home communities.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria, as always, will support the State Government in its effort to resettle its citizens back to their various communities and ensure they go about their businesses unperturbed.

“This is considerably, an evidence of gradual restoration of normalcy in some parts of the North-East zone of Nigeria”.

General Enenche said the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have continued to sustain the tempo and display resilience in their efforts to forestall the activities of Boko Haram/ISWAP criminal elements.

“Within the period under review, troops have maintained clearance operations to dominate the Joint Operational Area and constant Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance missions as well as intensive air strikes.

“These have considerably put the activities of the terrorists’ in-check. In addition to these kinetic operations, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have not relented in its non-kinetic operations in various parts of the North-East zone.

“Within the week under review, the gallant troops working together with other security agencies conducted several clearance operations and repelled BHT/ISWAP attacks on own troops and civilian locations in Yobe State,” he said.

He noted that the operations led to the neutralization of 3 BHT/ISWAP fighters and recovery of caches of arms and ammunition.

General Enenche added that 6 terrorists and armed bandits were arrested and currently being profiled for necessary action.

“Meanwhile, as the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole intensifies air strikes against terrorists’ targets in Borno State, some compounds housing BHT/ISWAP fighters were destroyed leading to the elimination of scores at Kaza along Gulumba Gana – Kumshe axis in Borno State,” he concluded.

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